RockVets E-Newsletter: June 2017 Edition
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, New York 
Jerry Donnellan, Director      Telephone: 845-638-5244 
Website: www:
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Facebook share Twitter share Email share

RockVets Newsletter

June 2017       845-638-5244
Volume 9
Issue 6


Does Anybody Care?

Saturday morning, April 28th, I was watching a Spring fog across the lake.  The 7:00 a.m. CBS News ran, “Two Army Rangers killed in Afghanistan.”  It was the 10th of 12 items.  I hit the computer to see if any other news outlets had it.  The New York Times had it, but not on the front page, and not much more information.

Regular folks think of Army Rangers as these burly, unshaven, older, super-tough soldiers.  And they are tough and they are super-soldiers.  But these two guys were 22 and 23.  Think of the 22-year olds you know.  We were told that these Rangers were there to be advisers and trainers.  So why were they on a re-con or kill patrol?  Who in General Nicholson’s chain of command ordered that?  Also, with them were roughly 50 good Afghans.  They were headed in to the Mohmand Valley near where the MOAB bomb was dropped a couple of weeks ago.  

The Army has been following the same SOP (Standard Operational Procedure) I guess since World War I. I know they did it in North Korea against the Communists and as you can see we haven’t had a problem with them ever since.  Right?

A decade later, the Commies moved south to Vietnam – the weather was better!  So my guys went to chase them out of there and win the war.  Well, we were winning when I left.  Then I guess the Commies got tired of moving.  So we went to the Middle East to save them from -  I’m not really sure what, and the bad guys had a whole bunch of different names.  So for our purposes we’re going to call them “bad.” Besides that, it’s easier to spell.

Anyway, for at least 100 years we have followed any important bombing or artillery strike by sending in the Grunts (Infantry) to gather intelligence or body count.  For the past 16 years, the bad guys have watched us do this as they have watched centuries of invaders.  For that matter, in 330 BC, this Greek guy who had gotten thrown out of there called Afghanistan “the graveyard of empires.”  The bad guys were lying in wait with an ambush that Ray Charles could have seen coming.  And because of the steep terrain there were only a couple of trails into that valley or a couple of possible LZ’s (landing zones).  

I asked one of our Afghan vets how you can tell a good Afghan from a bad Afghan and he said the bad Afghan is about 1/8 of an inch taller.  I can relate to that because in Vietnam we had the Viet Cong. According to the movies they wear black pajamas and conical hats.  In the real world they dress just like the farmers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to blend in with the indigenous personnel.  For that matter, the first one I shot I thought was a farmer until he went for his AK 47.  Thankfully I was faster with my 12 gauge pump – not from any military training, but from years of upland bird hunting in the Catskills. Before I get hate mail from PETA, I don’t do that anymore.

By afternoon, the news outlets began to talk about friendly-fire.  I know I’m more sensitive about this, but the tone had changed.  Like somehow or other friendly-fire made you less dead or it was their fault. Maybe it will turn out that there were some bad Afghans with the good Afghans.

But why should we even be talking about this?  Afghanistan, according to President Obama, ended 3 years ago on December 28, 2014.  Try telling that to 2 women – one in Ohio and one in Illinois who won’t be getting a Mother’s Day card this year or ever again.

PS:  Sunday morning, April 29th no fog on the lake this morning.  The New York Times, “An American service member was killed Saturday but near Mosul, Iraq.”  Here it turns out to be the bad Iraqis were wearing the good Iraqi uniforms.  Every war if nothing else, has a black market.  Happy Mother’s Day....

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

The Latest Killer

There are so many killers out there today that affect veterans of all ages.  There are strokes, cancers, and heart conditions that affect people in their prime.  Where millions of dollars are spent on research trying to cure or eliminate the existing killers, there is a new one working its way up the charts.  There would be no need to raise funds.  We already know how to rid ourselves of this new scourge.  This killer leads to falls, causing especially the elderly broken bones and perhaps their lives.  It contributes to automobile crashes as well as pedestrian fatalities and  mis-communication with fire emergency services responding.  This killer adds additional stress to those with heart-related problems.  

The really sad thing is it could be eliminated with almost no money by simply passing legislation.  It would be the type of legislation that would fly through both Houses.  It would be backed by the liberal and conservative ends of each party and both political parties would claim credit.  

This new killer is Robocalls.  Think about it – an older person on the second floor hears a phone ringing on the first floor, hurries down the stairs thinking it might be a doctor or a grandchild, and loses their footing.  Now tell me that hasn’t happened – and that could be fatal.  By the time police or emergency services arrive at the scene, the individual could already be dead – the death caused by a fall.  The fall caused by an older person stressed and hurtling down a flight of stairs.  

Then there’s the scenario where a driver is distracted by a call that’s meaningless, and even a few seconds of their concentration off the road could lead to a fatality.  An automobile accident or perhaps a pedestrian being struck.  Then there’s a possibility of interrupting an important call for fire emergency services.  

I think other situations could be named, but the point is that these robocalls do cause deaths and it’s one of society’s killers that could be eliminated with little or no cost.  So why is it our Congress and Senate can’t take this on?  Seemingly they can’t agree on much else.  

Here’s something I think very few would object to.  Many would congratulate them.  Here’s an opportunity for Congress to do the right thing in spite of themselves.

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244


Going back, we had Hillarycare, which failed to get out of the gate.  Then we had Obamacare, which made it out of the gate but fell on its nose the other day.  Now it’s Trumpcare and we are wrestling with it.

Why is this so hard?  I don’t understand.  A lot of you know me – I lost a leg in Vietnam.  But I’m not saying this for praise or sympathy.  I am saying this to use myself as a visual aid.  For example, as an honest witness I got hit October 24, 1969 in the Central Highlands – a mountainous region of northern South Vietnam.  The medic was on me in no time.  Thankfully my platoon had cleared an LZ (Landing Zone) for the helicopter.  The Huey couldn’t fully land because of stumps so he had to hover a few feet off the ground, which made it difficult.  And in order to get me on the Evac my buddies had to put me in a poncho tied at both ends like a hammock.  Then they swung it back and forth and on the count of 3, threw me up and onto the bloody floor of this helicopter.  Then the chopper with nose down headed out for a place called Hawk Hill, which was an aid station kind of like a MASH hospital.  There I received clean medical care.  They actually hosed me off and gave me the last rites, which may be good for the soul but it stinks for the morale.  Then into the 95th Evac - many surgeries and the last rites again.  Then out of ‘Nam to Japan to the 106th in Yakoda, Japan – more surgeries.  Then Evac back to the States to Valley Forge – Army General Hospital in Pennsylvania for a year.  More surgeries, occupational therapy, physical therapy.  We used to call the physical therapist, physical terrorist – that’s before the term became popular. I learned to walk.  Then into the VA where they have cared for me for practically half a century.

So what’s your point, Jerry?  The point is I never paid a dime for any of that healthcare.  Either when I was being cared for by the Department of Defense (DOD) or the VA.  They are two separate government departments.  Many people don’t realize that.  Both are headed by members of the President’s cabinet. So we already have two federal healthcare systems.  So at the age of 70 I am still walking on two legs – one of mine, one of yours.  Still working 40 hours a week, and if you run into my boss Ed Day, tell him I am working very hard for an old guy.  Don’t mention giving me a raise unless you want to see him make weasel faces. He's good at that!

The DOD runs dozens of hospitals and clinics around the world.  The VA runs over 1,200 medical centers here in the States and has been doing that for about a century.  They know what works and what doesn’t. Why not use their institutional knowledge and use their systems as a model or a skeleton to build on?  Or as more military bases close across the country, sell of the bases but keep the hospitals.  Encourage or bribe doctors to person it – notice I didn’t say ‘man’.  Boy, am I becoming a 21st century guy!

The military also has what they call, Tricare, which is insurance for retired military and it works very well. So couldn’t Hillary, Obama, and now we’ll see how long it takes President Trump to get healthcare through.  Although it’s been 100 days already, it just got out of the Congress.  What’s hard?  We have 2 systems of government healthcare already in place and an insurance system.  Surely somebody in Congress knows about that.

The other thought which my veteran brothers will gristle at, but allowing non-veterans over a certain age to use the system that’s already in place.  Face it – the number of veterans has been declining since the Draft ended in 1973.  When I came to this job in January, 30 years ago, we had nearly 30,000 veterans here in Rockland County.  Now the population in Rockland County has declined markedly.  However, our veterans are down to roughly 11,000 – almost a 2/3 drop.  Mostly from the passing of the veterans.  But also veterans are moving south and I think we all know why.  For instance, the Montrose Hospital in Westchester opened in 1950 as a 2,000-bed hospital.  Today they only have 200 beds sitting on a 180+ acres of northern Westchester real estate.  The hospitals are running at 10% capacity and the boys and girls in Washington are going to close them now.  

Would you rather have the VA start to close them?  Or allow non-veterans over a certain age to keep them in place for you?

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard  Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

RockVets Radio Show Back on WRCR

The RockVets Radio Show with host Jerry Donnellan, has returned to the airwaves.  The next show will air on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. The show is broadcast live on the last Thursday of each month - right after the 9:00 a.m. newscast - so it will air from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.  Tune in to 1700 on the AM dial.  
You can also listen to the show online at  This is a good opportunity for you to call in and ask questions about veterans or military issues, or to let the listening public know about events some local organizations are planning that would be of interest to veterans.  To speak with Jerry on-air during the show, please call WRCR at 845-362-0013. 

Lowe's Stores Changes Military Discount Program

Lowe's is expanding and changing its military discount program for veterans.  They will no longer ask to see your Veterans' ID at the check-out counter.  Instead, veterans will sign up online and set up an account with My Lowe's.  The discounts will be offered for all honorably discharged veterans. 
To read further, use this link:

Returning to 'Nam and Lt. Sharon Lane Clinic  

Howard Goldin sent a Letter to the Editor of Purple Heart Magazine after reading their March/April edition of a story about Lt. Sharon Lane.  Lt. Lane was one of eight military nurses who died while serving in Vietnam. The letter is a heartfelt tribute to the nurses, doctors, and medics, who helped the troops survive. Howard also tells of his returning to Vietnam.  Howard's thoughts are featured on page 14 and 15 in this month's Purple Heart Magazine - May/June 2017 issue.  

Please read his letter here:

Who Was Sharon Ann Lane? 

Though one of eight American military nurses who died while serving in Vietnam, Sharon Lane was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire. Read more at this link:

For her service in Vietnam, 1LT  Sharon Ann Lane was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with “V” device, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Order of Vietnam Medal, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (with Palm). 

Volunteers for Veterans' Medical Appointments

Many Westchester and Rockland County area Veterans need a ride to their medical appointments at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System in Montrose, New York.  Our Veterans need you!

Volunteer Drivers serving in VA Hudson Valley Health Care System Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN) can literally be the difference-maker in veterans receiving their needed medical care.  Do  you  have  one or  more  days  a  month that you could give as a VA volunteer driver? To fill this role, you must have a current, valid New York State drivers’ license and automobile insurance and pass a physical exam. Hours vary.

To learn more about what’s involved and how you can serve those who served through this most important volunteer activity, please contact VA Voluntary Service office phone: 914-737-4400 ext. 3713. 

Note:  The VTN was originally established by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  DAV continues to lead the way, in partnership with local area organizations and individuals, in providing needed transportation for veterans seeking care at VA facilities.

Many Westchester and Rockland County area Veterans need a ride to their medical appointments at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System in Montrose, New York.

Veterans Choice Program Phone Line Imposter

It has come to VA’s attention that a phone line has been set up by an unknown party to potentially "mimic" the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) phone line. This imposter phone line may be intended to reach Veterans who inadvertently dial the VCP number incorrectly.

We want you to know that we are taking this seriously and to keep you aware of the steps we are taking..  VHA Office of Community Care (VHA CC) has reported the “mimic” line to the VA Office of Inspector General for a possible civil or criminal investigation. The phone line established to “mimic” the VCP phone line is 1-800-606-8198. You know you have reached the wrong VCP phone line when:

The phone line offers callers a $100 rebate if the caller provides a credit card. The phone line does not state the caller has reached U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the VCP phone line. Be aware that this phone number incorrectly confirms callers had reach the VCP if the caller asks that question.

The correct VCP phone line is 1-866-606-8198. This line is for Veterans to check their eligibility for the VCP and ask questions about the program. If you are unsure if you have reached the correct phone line, hang up and dial 1-866-606-8198 again. The phone line will state the called has reach the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Combat Vet ID Cards Available
Combat Veteran ID Cards are now available.  If you are a combat veteran, you can get this card at the County Clerk's Office which is located at 1 South Main Street, Suite 100, New City, New York 10956.  To apply for the Combat Veteran ID Card, or the F.A.V.O.R. card for all veterans, if you don't already have one, bring your DD214 to the County Clerk's Office.  

They'll take your photo and make up a card for you. You can contact the County Clerk's Office at (845) 638-5076 or call the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County at 845-638-5244. 

This new Combat Veteran ID Card offers all of the same benefits as the F.A.V.O.R. (Find and Assist Veterans of Record) card, which includes almost 1000 discounts to Rockland's veterans, but this new CVID card has specific advantages. The CVID card is co-sponsored by the Rockland County Police Benevolent Association and will be recognized by our local law enforcement agencies. So if you ever get pulled over, along with your license, registration, and insurance card, show the police officer your Combat Vet ID card so he knows you're an in-country vet.
Employment Opportunities

Stonemason Position in Rockland:  A leading monument company is seeking a hard-working, experienced individual for a Stonemason position in Rockland County.  Full time and part-time positions are available.  A clean driver's license and basic mason or construction experience is required.  Will train to suit.  For further information, call Alan at 845-358-0567.

Farmer's Market Manager:  West Nyack Farmers Market Farmers’ Market Manager:
Manager Position:  The Market Manager is a part time position with primary responsibility being the day-to-day operation of the farmers’ market. This will include an on-site presence at the market during all market hours, as well as off-site work during non-market hours. The manager will report to a market committee, who will set all market policy. In addition, the manager will represent the market to the market’s vendors, the consumers and to the community. For further information, please view this link:

JPMChase:  Please check out this link to current job openings at JPMorgan Chase in various locations: JPMC%20Current%20Openings_1%20MAY%202017.xlsx
They are looking for qualified veterans in careers in Accounting/Finance, Branch Banking, Customer Service, Compliance/Risk, Cyber/Technology, Operations, Project Management, Relationship Management/Sales and many other job categories. They have a dedicated team of Veteran Recruiters who are ready to assist with any questions on these opportunities. 
Please reach out to them at
Jim O’Donnell, Executive Director, Military & Veteran Recruiting, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has embarked on a new journey of growth. We are building – in some cases – rebuilding – some of our most critical transportation assets. To meet this growth, we are recruiting new, highly motivated and diverse talent. Now is the time to join the Port Authority Police Department! The Port Authority Police Department will be conducting an on-going recruitment for Police Officers, the open application period runs from May 22, 2017 to June 26, 2017. We encourage you to join our Police Recruit Network to stay informed on the different steps of the selection process, click the link for further information or to join now -
Tri-Seal (A Tekni-Plex Company) in Blauvelt, NY
To search, apply and Stay in Touch:
(Enter in Location browser: Blauvelt, NY)
 Manufacturing Production Helpers– 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift
 Extrusion Pelletizing Operator -2nd shift
 Extrusion Operators -2nd and 3rd shift
 Grinders -2nd and 3rd shift
Tri-Seal is a leading global manufacturer of closure liners and seals for glass, metal and plastic containers. Our innovative products provide tamper evidence,barrier protection and seal integrity.  For further information, please contact:  Ana M. D’Albenzio - Human Resources Manager
Tri-Seal (A Tekni-Plex Company) 900 Bradley Hill Road - Blauvelt, NY 10913 
Office- (845)-512-7246 Mobile- (914)-281-0285

Peter Brega, Inc., is a family owned and operated school bus company located in Valley Cottage. The company is looking to provide some assistance to those veterans who are seeking employment.  They are offering a great part-time opportunity, retirees welcome!
- Must have a clean driving record
- CDL with Passenger & School bus endorsements 
- Starting pay $19/hr. - higher pay with prior driving experience!
- Guaranteed hours
- AM and/or PM runs available
- All positions are part time, if desired, additional work may be available
- Great work environment
- Matching 401K for eligible employees
- Off when schools are off (Holidays, Snow Days, Summers!)
- Unemployment Benefits
Applicants can apply in person at 500 Kings Highway, Valley Cottage, NY 10989, online at or contact Nick Brega by phone at: 845-268-6107.
FEMA: When disaster strikes, America looks to The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA has announced an Emergency Management Specialist vacancy in New York, New York.   
In this position, you would serve as a Lessons Learned Advisor in an incident support role during disaster activation.  Typical assignments include: Deploying to disaster field locations to plan and execute data collection plans during declared disasters.Validating observations and identifying cross-cutting themes related to the efficiency/effectiveness of programs. Developing common methodologies, tools, and processes to translate operational experience into institutional knowledge and foster continuous improvement. Facilitating periodic reviews (“hot-washes”)
To access additional information and to apply for the Emergency Management Specialist position, please visit:

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Conservation Corps:
A veteran himself, Geoff Hamilton is actively recruiting veterans to fill some service positions with the New York New Jersey Trail Conference Conservation Corps for the 2017 season.  They offer housing and a living stipend.  If you are interested, please contact Geoff Hamilton via e-mail at: or visit their website: for further information.
Geoff Hamilton, Program Assistant, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
600 Ramapo Valley Road | Mahwah, NJ 07430
T 201.512.9348 x 819| M 914.839.0409 | F201.512.9012 |
RJ Staffing:  If you are looking for work, I can help!  My name is Jennifer and I work for RJ-Staffing in Rockland County, New York.  We have many job opportunities available and would love to speak with you if you're looking for work!  Please contact Jennifer directly via e-mail: or call Jennifer at 845-624-0400.

Civil Service Exams:  Scheduled Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals
These examinations are open to anyone who meets the minimum qualifications specified on an examination announcement. See the announcement(s) for details. You may apply for most examinations on-line or by using our paper application (form NYS-APP). See How to Apply on the respective announcement(s).  For further information, visit their website:

Assistance Needed for Local Veteran 
From Howard Goldin:  Craig Wertheim and I have created a Go Fund Me page for a 39 year old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran named SSG Nino Robivar Woo Atienza. He is 6 year Navy Veteran and is 13 years active National Air Guard stationed with the 105th Airlift Wing - Steward. When not on active reserve status, he works for the 105th in a civilian capacity equivalent to his military Job. On December 25th, 2016 Nino, his wife,18 year old daughter (who is an Freshman (ROTC) at Tampa College) and his 5 and 6 year old children learned that he has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Brain Cancer. Nino's monthly bills are around $3,900 a month and his sick time has run out as of February 3rd, 2017. There is NO INCOME coming in. The Rockland County Veterans community was able to help him pay his bills for last month, but he is really in need so please spread the word. SSG. Atienza has filed a claim with the VA for Burn Pit exposure, but as everyone knows, this could be a while with the V.A. 

If you have a Facebook account, please share this. If you belong to any organizations or people who might be able to help this family, please pass this information around. 

For further information contact Howard Goldin at or Craig Wertheim at  If you would like to make a donation to help this young veteran and his family, you can view the Go Fund Me link below:

Useful Telephone Numbers for Veterans

Rockland County Veterans Service Agency


Rockland County Sheriff’s Office


Veterans Peer-to-Peer (Counseling)


People to People (Food)


Montrose VA Hospital


New City VA Clinic


Housing Unit


Rape Crisis Services (Main)


Rape Crisis Services (24/7)


Home Health Care


Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency


Nyack Hospital Emergency


Domestic Violence


Suicide Hotline


Mental Health Association of Rockland County


Mobile Mental Health


West Point (nearest military base)


New York National Guard (Orangeburg, NY)


Army Reserve (Orangeburg, NY)


Military Recruiter


Rockland County Housing Action Coalition


Alcoholics Anonymous


Emergency Shelter


Meals on Wheels


Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial and Monument

The Rockland County Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial and Monument will honor those from Rockland who served in those two theaters of war, whether in the Persian Gulf War, Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, or Inherent Resolve in Iraq, or Operations Enduring Freedom or Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan - particularly those who gave their lives.
It is being designed by cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point and, with the support of the County of Rockland, will be located in Haverstraw Bay County Park nearby to the Rockland County 9/11 Memorial.  It is currently scheduled to be completed by Veterans Day 2017.
The content, design, and visuals of the memorial and monument is guided by, and will be approved by, a committee made up of local veterans of these conflicts.
Chapter 120 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is accepting tax-free donations in support of this memorial and monument and providing a structure through which to coordinate and arrange for its construction.  For further information, please call 845-371-7605 or visit our website at: 

Rockland County Marine Corps League Auxiliary

The Rockland County Marine Corps League Auxiliary continues its on-going campaign - Pet Rescue - to reunite our troops with pets they may have had to leave in Afghanistan. Cans and bottles (no glass bottles) that can be recycled for cash, may be brought to Kearsing Edwards American Legion Post 1600, 20 Station Road in Pomona, New York. They are collected by ARC Pet Rescue volunteers and recycled. Contributions for the Pet Rescue Project are also welcome! The funds pay for food and water to sustain pets on their journey home; their transportation is free. For more information contact Chairman Dale Fisher 845-304- 3595.

Rockland County Marine Corps League - MASH Unit

We regularly receive donations of handicap assistance equipment for disabled veterans from people who want to help.  Our donated equipment is available for free to military veterans and their families.  The items include the following:
  • Handicap-Accessible van
  • Motorized Wheelchairs
  • Manual Wheelchairs
  • Lifts
  • Walkers
  • Bath Chairs
  • Transfer Benches
  • Braces
  • Crutches
  • Canes 
If you have need of any of this equipment, contact the folks at the Rockland County Marine Corps League - 845-323-8774 or via e-mail:

RockVets Newsletter  

You can find information, useful links, and view our webpage at Previous copies of our newsletters are also available on our website at

At the discretion of the editor, we'd be happy to add your upcoming events to our newsletter.  Please submit the details to us as soon as possible, but no later than the 25th of each month so we can get the information in the following issue. Send information to

The RockVets Radio Show with host Jerry Donnellan, will return to the airwaves starting on Thursday, June 29th, 2017. The show will air on the last Thursday of each month - right after the 9:00 a.m. newscast - so it will air from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.  Tune in to 1700 on the AM dial.  You can also listen to the show online at  This is a good opportunity for you to call in and ask questions about veterans or military issues, or to let the listening public know what some local organizations are doing in the community of interest to veterans.  To speak with Jerry during the show, please call WRCR at 845-362-0013.  

Veterans Service Agency of Rockland

If you plan to come to the Veterans Service Agency office, please call to make an appointment so we can give you the time you need:  845-638-5244.   

Jerry Donnellan, Director 

Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County

20 Squadron Blvd., - Suite 480

New City, New York  10956   


RockVets website:

RockVets newsletters:




friend on Facebook | forward to a friend
Copyright © Rockland County Veterans Service Agency
All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list | unsubscribe from all lists